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Emmerdale fans left devastated after death of iconic actress Paula Tilbrook

The star spent 21 years with the soap

Aisha Nozari,

Iconic Emmerdale actress Paula Tilbrook, who played Betty Eagleton on the soap for 21 years, has passed away at the age of 89.

The star died in December, however, her passing was only confirmed on Wednesday in The Stage magazine.

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A statement for the family said: "The family of Paula Tilbrook are sad to confirm the peaceful passing of their beloved Paula. She died of natural causes a few months ago at home with her loved ones beside her."

Fans were devastated upon hearing the news, and flocked to Twitter to share their condolences. 

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Paula with her co-stars on the set of Emmerdale 

"Very sad about Paula Tilbrook. She was a joy to watch. My thoughts go out to her family and friends at Emmerdale," wrote one, with another adding: "I am very saddened to hear about Paula Tilbrook. All my prayers are with her family and friends. She was a brilliant actress in Emmerdale."

A third tweeted: "Just heard of this very sad news about the brilliant actress Paula Tilbrook who sadly passed away. She brought so much to her characters in both Emmerdale and Coronation Street as well. My condolences go out to her family and friends."

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Paula and her co-stars are paid a visit by The Queen

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Paula's character Betty first appeared in the soap in 1994, and was last seen in 2015, when she made a Christmas episode cameo.

One of the most famous characters to ever grace the Yorkshire village, Betty decided to leave Emmerdale to move to Australia, and was best known for loving gossip, sherry and Seth, her on-screen partner until 2004.

Paula also appeared numerous times in Coronation Street, playing four different characters over the course of more than a decade. 

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